In April 2017 the University implemented revised Capital Expenditure procedures to allow clear documentation, authorisation and approval routes for investment.
This will also improve the governance of the Capital Programme and ensure any investment is in line with the University's strategic objectives set out in the University Strategy. For full information you can download the latest detailed version of the Capital Procedures from the Documents section below.
Capital Procedures document
A summarised version of the procedures (including flow charts and diagrams) can be seen by downloading the training presentation: Capital Procedures presentation (MS PowerPoint , 5,997kb)
The procedures in the document have been broken down into four sections covering:
- Scope and Definition (Procedures ref: Section A)
- Planning (Procedures ref: Section B)
- Project Appraisal and Authorisation (Procedures ref: Section C)
- Monitoring (Procedures ref: Section D)
Within the four main sections of the procedures there have been a number of key changes to the way in which the University will review, prioritise and approve capital projects. The changes are detailed below with reference to where further information can be found in the Capital Procedures Document:
- Proposed projects will need to show and explain how they link to the University’s strategic objectives. (Procedures ref: B1 page seven).
- Revenue projects >£200k (which meet the definition of a project, Procedures Ref: A2) should be approved following these procedures (Procedures ref: A3 page five).
- Project Appraisal and Approval (Procedures ref: C1/C2 page 13-16).
- Project documentation - Project Proposal Form (PPF), Pre Request for Authority (PRFA), Request for Authority (RFA) and Revised Request for Authority (RRFA) (Procedures ref: C3/C4 pages 16-17).
- Specifying “key deliverables” at the outset of a project (Procedures ref: C9 page 25).
- How contingencies within projects are managed and reported (Procedures ref: C10 page 26).
Below are links, project pathway diagrams and an explanation around the use for each project approval document:
- Project Proposal Form (PPF): PPF (MS Excel , 28kb)
- PPF Building cost Calculator: PPF Building cost calculator (MS Excel , 11kb)
- Pre Request for Authority (PRFA):PRFA (MS Excel , 23kb)
- Request for Authority (RFA): RFA 2019 (MS Excel , 666kb)
- Revised Request for Authority (RRFA): RRFA (MS Excel , 665kb)
- Detailed Capital Procedures: Capital Procedures (MS Word , 140kb)
Key committees and approval limits
There are four committees which may be included in the approval and delivery of a project dependent upon the total cost of the project. Below are links to the University web pages for each committee which provide Terms of Reference and upcoming meeting dates for each. Project approval limits are shown on the Approval limits section below.
Find out when the above committees are meeting in the "University committees" section of the Governance web page.
|Value||Approvals persons or body|
|£20,000 - £200,000 (Estates related)||The Director of Estates and Campus Services and one of the Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director|
|£20,000 - £200,000 (IT related)||The Director of Information Services and one of the Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director|
|£20,000 - £200,000 (Academic Dept Equipment)||The Dean of Faculty and one of the Finance Director or Deputy Finance Director|
|£200,001 - £1,000,000||One of the Vice Chancellor or Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost and one of the Finance Director or Registrar and Secretary|
|£1,000,001 - £4,000,000||University Executive Board (UEB) (excluding novel projects*)|
|In excess of £4,000,001||Council (having been recommended for approval by FPC)|
*If the project is novel, then The Board have discretion to require the RFA to be approved by Council.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Please find below a list of frequently asked questions.
Q: How do I get a project included within the Capital Programme?
A: A project proposal form (PPF) will need to be submitted by the project sponsor to the Capital Accountant. This will then be considered (in terms of affordability) by Capital Management Group (CMG) and passed to Planning Committee (PC) for consideration. Guidance on PPFs can be found in the detailed procedures in section C3.1.
Q: At what point would a project have full approval to proceed?
A: Full project approval is obtained once a Request for Authority form has been submitted to the Capital Accountant and then approved by the relevant committee. Detail on the RFA form can be found in the full Capital Procedures within section C3.
Q: Where can I get the approval documentation to submit for a project?
A: Approval documentation can be obtained from the capital expenditure webpage within the documents tab.
Q: Where can I find the committee meeting dates?
A: All key committee dates can be found through the capital webpage "Committees" section above. Within there are links to committee webpages and also a Governance calendar which has all key dates scheduled.
Q: The cost of the project has increased what should I do?
A: If the projected cost of a project increases by the lower of 10 per cent or £250,000 (measured against the signed of project amount on the RFA) then a Revised Request for Authority (RRFA) should be submitted. In addition if a projected project cost increases in value such that it crosses an approval limit a RRFA should be submitted. Detail on the RRFA forms can be found in the full Capital Procedures within section C3.
Q: The project is expected to be delayed, what should I do?
A: If it becomes foreseeable that the due completion date for the project will slip by three months or more after the planned completion date, or past the latest project completion date a Revised Request for Authority (RRFA) should be submitted to the Capital Accountant. Detail on the RRFA forms can be found in the full Capital Procedures within section C3.
Q: I want to use my own revenue budget to fund some estates work, do I need to follow these procedures?
A: If the investment is >£200,000 then these procedures DO need to be followed. Further detail on this can be found in section A of the full capital procedures.
Q: The equipment I am purchasing is over £200k but is fully funded, do I need to follow these procedures?
A: Yes. Approval should be obtained through the Capital Procedures approval documentation.
Mark Dye - Capital Accountant
Telephone: +44 (0)1904 322849
Sian Mountain - Professional Services Finance Manager
Telephone: +44 (0)1904 323 993
Stephen Talboys - Director of Estates and Campus Services
Telephone: +44 (0)1904 322 004
Location: Providence House
Liz Gatheral - Director of Estates Development